The US Air Force’s (USAF) Block 3F variant of the F-35A and F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) have recently completed the last weapons delivery accuracy (WDA) surge, moving them closer towards achieving initial operating capability (IOC).

The fighter aircraft with Block 3F software is anticipated to undergo another single WDA event.

The planned event marks the completion of WDA for all three variants and will pave the way to the declaration of IOC for all F-35s.

During the recent WDA testing surge, an F-35 fired an AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) over the Pacific Ocean range near Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) Point Mugu in Ventura County, California, US.

Commenting on the WDA surge, USAF 461st Flight Test Squadron weapons integration engineer Torrey Given said: “This was kind of a clean-up, or a closeout, of System Development and Demonstration. It’s the closeout of JSF developmental test for Block 3F, which is a big deal because it’s for Air Force IOC and Navy IOC.

"We were able to accomplish some complex air-to-air demonstrations with the AMRAAM in order to show the full capability of the aircraft."

“We were able to accomplish some complex air-to-air demonstrations with the AMRAAM in order to show the full capability of the aircraft.”

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The AMRAAM missiles were equipped with live motors and guidance systems, but the warheads were exchanged for telemetry units, the USAF stated.

The Block 3F software upgrade for the F-35 fighter aircraft provides full combat capability, including but not limited to data link imagery, full weapons, and embedded training.

According to Lockheed Martin, F-35 software enables flight controls, radar functionality, communications, navigation and identification, electronic attack, sensor fusion, and weapons deployment.

Image: An F-35 fires an AIM-120 missile over the Pacific Ocean range near NAWS Point Mugu, Ventura County, California, US, during a recent WDA testing surge. Photo: courtesy of Chad Bellay/Lockheed Martin.